As the Christmas season approaches, I can't help but wonder if it's going to be a good Christmas or a not-so-good one. Last year was rough...being the first Christmas without Mom, my Grandpa was on his death bed, I was in California where it was so warm and icky, and the boy I loved fell out of love with me. This year, Mom still is gone (although I may see her at some point before the new year), the boy I loved is no longer in the picture, and there's family drama (with the extended family). The only part I'm really looking forward to is my Dad and brother driving out from California to spend Christmas with me! I haven't seen them since October...I think that's been the longest I've gone with not seeing either of them.
But you know....with all the doubt in my mind and the wondering what Christmas day is going to be like, there's a joy that has filled my heart! A joy that no matter how this Christmas season turns out to be, I know that my Saviour was born. A baby, born in a manager, who came to earth to die so that I might freely live. I don't see how I couldn't have joy in my heart!
I have a friend who wrote in her blog that the holiday saying is, "Jesus is the reason for the season." But in reality...Jesus is the reason for life. And I couldn't agree with her more! Because of Jesus being born to a young virgin girl, in a gross stable, surrounded by animals and shepherds (who were the outcasts of that time), I have life. I have joy in my heart! I have the love of Jesus in me! He loved me so much that he died a horrible death so that I could be forgiven and made whole! This little baby named Jesus is the most precious gift that this world has ever seen! Oh, the joy that's in my heart overwhelms me to the point of wanting to share this joy and love with the whole world!!
No matter how Christmas day turns out, the sadness I will feel in my heart not having my Mom or a significant other around, or any family drama that comes up....I can run back to this joy that I wouldn't have if God, the creator of the universe, didn't send His only Son to save the world.
So simple, yet so very complex and challenging.
Put Jesus first this Christmas season, because He deserves to be first. Everyday.
Then others. Even if that's your family that you don't really want to be around.
And you....because putting yourself last, means being selfless....and that's a challenge in and of itself.